What Should You Avoid Doing If You Have Neck Pain?

If you're suffering from neck pain, there are certain activities that you should avoid. Prolonged use of tablets and cell phones can lead to poor posture and neck tension, as well as activities that cause stress. Reading, watching television, or working in an uncomfortable position for long periods of time can also be detrimental. For the first 48 to 72 hours, use ice to reduce inflammation and then switch to heat.

Heat can be applied with hot showers, hot compresses, or a heating pad. However, make sure not to fall asleep with a heating pad or ice pack in place to avoid skin injury. Additionally, don't keep your neck in the same position for too long, such as when you're sitting at a desk. Texting or looking at your cell phone or mobile device for any period of time places excessive strain on your neck.

Sometimes serious conditions manifest as neck pain. The forward head and shoulder posture is the most common example of poor posture contributing to neck pain. To help you avoid neck pain, place the monitor at eye level, sit up straight, and avoid tilting and twisting your head down or to the side while in front of the computer. Neck pain is often a mechanical problem in the body and is usually caused by muscles, tendons, and ligaments found in and around the cervical spine (the neck).

This can cause 'text neck', a relatively new neck pain condition caused by excessive use of smartphones and tablets. Neck pain that lasts longer than several weeks usually responds to exercise, stretching, physical therapy, and massages. Visit your physical therapist to learn how to properly treat neck pain so you can return to your normal active lifestyle. Your physical therapist is a movement expert who can offer you practical strategies for treating neck pain.

Working with your physical therapist can help you learn what to do and what you should stop doing to control neck pain. Make sure your physical therapist teaches you active exercises and strategies so you can learn to manage your neck pain on your own. Drinking plenty of water during the day is also important as it helps nourish and moisturize the discs found between the vertebrae in the neck. The muscle strain and the resulting muscle spasm are often caused by an underlying problem in the neck, such as spinal stenosis, arthritis, or disc degeneration.

Mark Szymonik
Mark Szymonik

Proud pop culture maven. Infuriatingly humble musicaholic. Total pop culture specialist. Extreme travel aficionado. Passionate coffee specialist.